Sciatica is an exceedingly common source of pain among adults, the elderly, and pregnant women. As many as 40% of people will experience sciatic pain at some point in their lives, and of that 40%, a significant portion will experience that pain more than once. If you experience pain from sciatica, massage therapy might provide the solution you need to feel your best.
How Sciatica Affects The Body
Sciatica, an umbrella term referring to sciatic nerve pain, often causes discomfort that travels from the small of the back and down to the feet. Some people report they only feel sciatic pain on one side of their body, while others report that it impacts both sides of the body equally. It is sometimes accompanied by a pins and needles sensation, similar to the way it feels when a limb “falls asleep.”
Many people with sciatic pain find it difficult to complete normal, everyday tasks. Some people report that the pain worsens or changes in sensation when they sit or lay, meaning that rest doesn’t always provide meaningful relief. Doctors may prescribe painkillers or suggest over the counter pain relievers to help combat the sensation of sciatica. Massage therapy can treat sciatica at its cause, ending or dulling the sensation rather than covering it up.
The Benefits Of Massage Therapy For Sciatic Pain
Massage relieves a wide variety of nerve and muscle pain, and can even assist in the recovery of injuries. It does so by addressing issues that impact muscles and nerves, stimulating the body to heal itself, and encouraging the production of endorphins that naturally relieve pain and boost positive feelings.
Massage relieves tension within muscles. Tense muscles, stiffness, and swelling can greatly exacerbate nerve pain. By removing the tension from the muscles and encouraging them to release their natural buildup of lymphatic fluid and metabolic byproducts, the swelling will go down. When the muscle is no longer creating a hostile environment for the nerve, many people report that throbbing or stabbing sensations will drastically dull.
Massage also encourages the body to release endorphins that dull the feeling of pain. These natural endorphins can directly lead to improved mood and better quality of sleep, both things that people feeling low from dealing with sciatic pain can greatly benefit from.
Massage Styles For Sciatic Pain
Massage in general will lead to sciatic pain relief. There are multiple ways to approach the issue. In the end, the final selection on massage style should come down to the needs of each individual patient. Someone who wants to treat multiple injuries or different types of soreness may see more benefits from one style of massage over another.
Swedish massage is a gentle alternative to deep tissue massage. This techniques uses motions and movements to make the muscles feel long, lean, and limber. It’s a medium intensity massage that yields results without some of the uncomfortable side effects that some sensitive people might report from massages with greater levels of pressure. Swedish massage is excellent for full body relaxation, and many people who have never had a massage before opt for that experience to be their very first.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage uses firm pressure and highly controlled movements to slowly and deliberately remove tension from muscles and soft tissue. Deep tissue massage is excellent for breaking up scar tissue or tending to old injuries. Studies have shown that deep tissue massage shows promising results for the long-term relief of many chronic back pain conditions, including sciatica.
Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage is similar to a Swedish massage in the way that they are both gentler techniques that use long and slow strokes. Hot stone massage, obviously, comes with the addition of warm stones. The warmth gently improves circulation and feels pleasant to the muscles, and the smooth sensation of the exterior of the stone makes the experience soothing.
Myofascial Release Massage
Myofascial release massage techniques are used in physical therapy and sports injury massages. These massages do promote the release of positive endorphins, but the experience of the massage is slightly more medical and a little less luxurious in nature. Myofascial massage targets connective tissues that, when stiff or strained, cause poor mobility and limited flexibility. They can help to restore the body’s full range of motion, something that people with chronic sciatic pain or sciatica that has gone untreated for a prolonged period of time may need.
Book Your Sciatica Relief Massage With Greentoes
Greentoes and Greentoes North in Tucson strives to provide a calm, welcoming, relaxing environment for all of our guests. Our experienced licensed massage therapists are always available to help those with sciatica find the relief they deserve. We can help you determine the style of massage that will best suit your needs if you’re still deciding. You can book your experience online now.